The second Lana Del Rey release of 2021, comes seven months after Chemtrails Over the Country Club. Blue Banisters is a lowkey affair with spare instrumentation, many tracks with just a piano and some strings. The album was preceded by a trio of singles including first track “Text Book”. Del Rey sings “And there we were/screamin’ black lives matter in the crowd” over a slow tempo that gets amped in the chorus as she remembers her Dad. “Blue Banisters” its slightly surreal lyrics of being with friends and painting her banisters blue.
Several of the tracks date back several years including both “Thunder” and “Dealer” that were recorded with the Last Shadow Puppets in 2017. The latter features Miles Kane on the verses and adds a funky drum/bass to the affair while Del Rey screams the chorus. Relationship stories appear regularly – an ex gets told “Don’t say you’re over me/When they all know you ain’t” before adding bit of horns on “If you Lie Down With Me”. She sings of finding her life again after a break-up on the sweeping drama of “Violets For Roses”.
Like a lot of her work, Blue Banisters is a mood piece, a vibe. Her hazy torch songs evoke hanging out beneath the neon lights of a 7-11 but in black and white, while she wears a white dress and cars bumping hip hop slowly drive by. It’s an album to listen to and not study, with occasional moments appearing to grab your attention like the Ennio Morricone interlude that adds a modern beat. Lana Del Rey keeps her steady work pace going and Blue Banisters is another fine collection of her particular style of pop song.